CHAPMANVILLE — Ronnie Ooten has coached the Chapmanville softball team for 36 seasons since the program’s inception back in 1981.
He said he’s not seen anything like this.
The Lady Tigers’ offensive onslaught has been most striking this spring and it’s one of the reasons the team is 27-4 and headed to next week’s Class AA regional tournament.
Chapmanville Regional’s beat went on Wednesday night at Chapmanville’s Ronnie Ooten Field as the Lady Tigers put a 19-0 beatdown on rival Scott to win the Class AA sectional championship.
Chapmanville swept Scott two games to none to take the section crown — its eighth in a row.
The Lady Tigers had rolled over the Lady Hawks 15-0 in Game 1 on Tuesday.
Coupled with a pair of identical 8-0 wins over Scott during the regular season, Chapmanville outscored the Lady Hawks 52-0 in four meetings.
Chapmanville hit four home runs in Wednesday’s game, which was played in a chilly, annoying drizzly rain.
Senior shortstop Shian Meeks led the way as she hit a pair of home runs — a two-run homer and a three-run shot and was 2-for-3 at the plate with six RBI.
Kara Browning had a two-run homer and Grace Belcher added a solo dinger.
This has been going on all season long as Chapmanville has pounded out an unheard of 25 team homers. Four Lady Tigers — Meeks, senior catcher Savannah Wiley, sophomore pitcher Kenzie McCann and first baseman Hollie Carter — are all hitting better than .400.
“It has been like this all season,” Ooten said. “We’re hitting top to bottom in this order. There’s no weak spots. Everyone can hit. We’re putting it together at the right time and that’s what I’m happy about. I’m happy with these kids.”
McCann pitched the five-inning win for CRHS, allowing no runs and just two hits with seven strikeouts and just one free pass.
“She keeps getting better and better and better,” Ooten said of McCann. “Barring any injuries she’s going to keep getting better. She’s just a sophomore and we’ll have her two more years.”
Hannah Brown was the starting and losing pitcher for Scott which ended its season at 6-19.
Meeks made it 2-0 in the first with a two-run homer to left.
Then in the second, the Lady Tigers plated five runs to grab a 7-0 lead. A long, three-run homer to left center by Meeks highlighted the inning. Karah Little and Browning both scored on wild pitches.
After a scoreless third, CRHS plated 12 big runs in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 19-0 ballgame.
A total of 17 Chapmanville players batted during the scoring spree.
Grace Belcher got it started by stealing home plate in a double steal with runners at the corners.
McCann then came up with an oppposite field, RBI slap double to left center to make it 9-0.
Meeks followed with an RBI groundout to third as the lead swelled to 10-0.
Still with only one out, Wiley’s RBI double upped the margin to 11-0. Two batters later, Little’s two-run double down the right field line made it 13-0. Browning followed with a two-run homer to left s Chapmanville’s lead increased to 15-0.
Belcher followed with a solo homer to center to make it 16-0. Carter’s RBI single to center then made it 17-0.
Chapmanville scored another run on an error and later pinch hitter Mallory Kennedy was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in a run to up the lead to 19-0.
The Lady Tigers still had the bases loaded with only one out but Chapmanville gave Scott the opportunity to end the inning mercifully as two runners were sent off base deliberately to set off an inning-ending double play.
McCann then got out Scott in the top of the fifth to end the game.
The Lady Hawks got a double from Lauren Mayes and a single from Cassie Stowers.
Scott threatened in the fourth with the double by Mayes, a fielder’s choice and a walk to put two runners on. McCann then got out of the jam as Wiley gunned down Mayes at third base and McCann got two more outs to end the threat.
Belcher was 2-for-2 in the game with one RBI. Browning was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. McCann went 3-for-4 with one run knocked in.
Chapmanville hopes to win two games in the regional tourney and advance to the state tournament for the first time in five years.
“We’re just losing two seniors — Savannah and Shian and they are both heck of a players. We’ve got a good nucleus coming back but this year is not over,” Ooten said.
CRHS has been bolstered this season by the five Scott transfers — Little, Alli Harless, Belcher, Mallory Kennedy and Kerston Kennedy — who came over last school year and were eligible to play this year.
“They went through some ordeals that they shouldn’t have — the ones basically that moved over,” Ooten said. “They’ve lived through it and we’ve become a good ballclub. It’s a good family type atmosphere with these ballplayers. Everyone gets along with each other and there’s no drama. That’s the main thing.”
Chapmanville returns to action with next Thursday’s regional semifinal home game against Wayne (8-12). Game is 6 p.m. CRHS won 16-7 and 6-0 in two games with the Pioneers this season.
“We play Wayne here,” Ooten said. “I’m going to try some teams that are still in it — not Double-A teams — but Triple-A or Single-A to play, maybe Hurricane or South Charleston.”
A win over Wayne would put CRHS into the regional final on May 17 — likely at two-time defending state champion Sissonville.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).